Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid
According to a report by First Orion, phone scam calls jumped by over 25% in the year 2018 alone. The menace of phone scams is growing at a rapid pace. In many cases, people fall for such scams because they are not aware of them. Ignorance of these scams can make you susceptible to them.
There are, however, quite a few ways in which you can avoid such scams. Instead of just ignoring the need to be proactive, it is essential to be aware of the tips which can help you avoid such scams. Today, we will share with you five tips which will make it easy for you to avoid phone scams altogether.
1. Be Aware Of Common Phone Scams
Many people are ignorant about phone scams happening with others. The right thing to do is to gain more knowledge about them. When you know about such scams in advance, it is easy for you to avoid them.
You can recognize them from a distance which will ensure that you do not fall from them. It is one of the primary reasons why you should be aware of the common phone scams. We will highlight some of them below.
IRS phone scam:
One of the common scams is when a person claims that he/she is calling from the IRS and you have to pay some amount to avoid any penalties or arrest. However, they spoof the identity of the IRS. They make you pay the amount to their payment processor. Without proper authentication, you should never agree to pay amounts because the caller claims to be from the IRS.
Gift card phone scam:
Many people try to sell stuff online but ask you to pay through a gift card. They will ask for the gift card number and pin on the call. The reason for this is that when you pay through the gift card, you cannot claim any refund even if you have been scammed. That is why; you should avoid buying stuff using a gift card on the phone.
Warranty phone scams:
Many scammers call individuals claiming that their insurance or warranty is about to lapse. They ask them to verify the insurance or warranty through the phone. However, in truth, they are just getting your personal information and might use your financial information to siphon off the money.
These are the three most common phone scams which you need to know. Once you know the scams, it is easy to avoid falling prey to them.
2. Conduct Due Diligence To Detect Phone Scammers
There are some tools at your disposal with the help of which it is easy to detect scammers. You can use these to avoid the scams to a large extent. These tools include.
Reverse phone lookup:
Instead of making the transaction or continuing with the call, it is better to use reverse phone lookup. You can ask the caller to call back later, or you can take down the number to continue the conversation later.
You can use tools like Spokeo to verify their identity. It will help you understand if they are genuine or not. The phone number search merely takes a couple of minutes, and therefore, it is one of the best tools to avoid such scams.
Voicemail is one of the best tools to avoid getting scammed. You can make the unknown calls go to the voicemail. Later on, you can decide whether it is a genuine call or not after proper due diligence. It is the most straightforward tool which you have against phone scammers.
Ask them to email you:
In many cases, if the person or the caller is really from your bank or a company which he/she claims to be from, they will know your email ID. You have to ask for the same information on the email. If the caller is legit, in most of the cases, they will send an email in real-time.
You can check the header of this email to determine if the caller is genuine or not. In case, the caller is fraudulent, neither they have your email ID not, they will agree to email you the same information.
Using these three tools, you can detect phone scams in real-time.
3. Outsmarting Scammers
The problem with just hanging up is that when you do so, you can get repeated calls again and again. It will almost become harassment. The best way to outsmart them is to tell them point-blank that you are not comfortable in transacting over the phone.
Since they do not have any other option, they will not call you back. It is one of the best ways to outsmart them and to get rid of the calls in the future.
Another way is to contact public listings and get your phone number removed. Though it won’t help you in cases when your number will be receiving automatic calls that dial a random number, which may happen to be yours.
4. Take Proactive Steps
Instead of waiting to receive phone scam calls, it is advisable to be proactive. When you are proactive, you can avoid this problem altogether. There are a few tips which you can follow to prevent such calls. These include:
- Once you pay your bills on time, you can ignore most of the other calls on your smartphone from unknown numbers. It means that those are mostly telemarketing calls or scam calls.
- You should not pick the unknown calls and let them go to your voicemail. Once they go to your voicemail, you will have enough time to check the number and respond.
- The smartphone manufacturers help provide you with real-time tracking of numbers when you receive a call. You can install them to help you out.
These are the three tips which you can follow to become proactive when it comes to avoiding phone scams.
5. Be Careful With Your Phone Numbers
Lastly, you can take a few steps to ensure that scammers do not find your phone numbers. These include:
- Never publicly post your phone number online
- Never mention your phone numbers in your social media profiles
- Never submit your phone numbers while subscribing to email newsletters or getting free stuff
Additionally, a much better idea is to list your phone number in the do not call list. It will mean that most of the scammers will not call you. The very few who do might be breaking the law, and therefore, you can easily report them.
So, instead of worrying about the growing phone scams or worse still, falling prey to them, these are the five tips which can help you avoid phone scams. These five tips can make your life much easy and protect you from any financial loss due to phone scams as well. You can use our guide above regularly to avoid such scams altogether.
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Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid was originally published on ReadWrite on September 12, 2019 by Olga Andriichuk.